The father of slain television reporter Alison Parker, after
taking aim at the gun lobby, now worries he might need a gun of
Andy Parker acknowledged he might exercise his right to bear
arms after unleashing yet another withering attack Friday on the
National Rifle Association and timid politicians.
“I don’t own a gun,” Parker told reporters outside the Roanoke
television station where his daughter Alison worked.
“We don’t have a gun in our family. I’m probably going to have
to get one. I mean, sad to say, but I — unfortunately, that’s
the world we live in.”
Parker became a man on a mission in the hours after his 24-year-
old daughter and WDBJ-TV cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were gunned
down while doing a live interview about tourism for the
station’s morning show.
And now the Collinsville, Va., man is wondering if his efforts
make him a target
“When you’re in the media, as you know, and when you’re taking
on an issue like this, there are a lot of people that take
exception to what you’re saying,” said Parker, who visited the
station with his wife Barbara.
“So I will probably have to do this. I don’t want to take any
The NRA sniped back without mentioning Parker by name, noting
that the killer “passed a background check” conducted in
But more information about Flanagan’s troubled past emerged
Friday. Evidence and writings seized from the killer’s apartment
indicated that he “closely identified” with the 9/11 terrorists,
the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office revealed.
The 41-year-old Flanagan, in a 23-page manifesto faxed to ABC
News after the Wednesday morning murders, expressed his
admiration for the mass murderers responsible for the shootings
at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School.
Flanagan was fired after just 11 turbulent months at the
Roanoke, Va., television station, making threats toward his
colleagues after police were called to remove him from the
Parker urged the assembled media to keep the pressure on pro-gun
forces in the wake of the latest multiple killing with a handgun.
“We need to keep the pressure on the politicians to not be
afraid of the NRA,” he declared. “It’s time that we hold these
people’s feet to the fire and shame them wherever we can.
“All we want to do is keep crazy people from getting guns. I
guarantee you somebody’s got the answer for this.”
The distraught dad once again cited his daughter as the
motivating source behind what shapes up as a quixotic quest.
Past efforts, including those after the murder of 20 first-
graders and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School, failed
to create much change in national or local gun laws.
“Alison was a force of nature,” said Parker. “She was an
absolute force of nature. I think that her life is going to have
meaning, not just as a journalist, if we can effect meaningful
changes in our gun laws ... This senseless act, this senseless
murder will not go in vain.”
Parker made his comments after speaking with Virginia Gov. Terry
McAuliffe, a gun owner who pledged his support.
“I was pleased that the governor of Virginia has stepped up and
been right there with me,” he said. “I would encourage other
politicians to be as courageous as he, and so that’s the plan.
Parker promised that he was in this fight for the long haul.
“I’m not going to let this drop,” he declared. “Each time you
think there’s a tipping point, with Sandy Hook or Aurora, and
then nothing gets done.”
McAuliffe, who appeared on the WDBJ-TV noon newscast after
meeting with Parker, seemed convinced that the newly-minted
activist would make good on his promise.
“He’s going to do what he told me, what Alison would have wanted
him to do,” said McAuliffe. “He wants to be a very vocal
advocate for universal background checks. This is something I’ve
advocated and talked about every single day.”
McAuliffe said he would reintroduce legislation in the state
assembly mandating background checks for gun buyers. The
Republican-led legislature has rejected his gun control efforts
since he took office last year.
"There are too many guns in America, and there are clearly too
many guns in the wrong hands,” he said. “So we're going to
continue to do what we can.”
Parker lobbed some criticism at Virginia’s two U.S. senators,
Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, for their failure to contact him in
the wake of the double homicide.
A Warner spokesman said the senator had left a message for
Parker earlier Friday, while a Kaine spokeswoman said he was
waiting for a more appropriate time to reach out.
Parker called on the media to pay attention to the gun control
issue rather than focusing on the flavor of the week.
“This can’t be the story for three days, and then it’s, ‘Let’s
see what Donald Trump is doing?’” Parker said. “I’m hoping this
time is different. She’s one of you guys.”